Thursday, September 25, 2008

THE RIDDLE WATCH

September 23, 2008 - Adam Smith / Burlington Times-News (edited)

Elon University's Scott Riddle-to-Terrell Hudgins connection continued its assault on the record books and reached lofty territory last Saturday night.

But after the Phoenix's pulsating football victory at Georgia Southern, Riddle preferred to focus on the 15 plays that ended in Andrew Wilcox's game-winning field goal with 6.1 seconds remaining.

The sophomore quarterback from Eastern Randolph High School said he had never led a fourth-quarter drive that produced a come-from-behind victory.

"When you're playing at Eastern Randolph you're usually on top," Riddle said. "And every time we've been here at Elon, I couldn't bring us back.

"It's great to know that I've kind of got that under my belt. It's always kind of been in the back of my mind. In a way, it was in the back of my mind during that last drive."

Cobwebs were there, too. Riddle said he still felt dazed after blacking out earlier in the fourth quarter when a wall of Georgia Southern defenders engulfed him on a punishing quarterback keeper.

Yet with nearly everybody standing and generating more noise than 17,049 fans should be able to, Riddle ran for 4 yards on a third-and-2 to supply the first of Elon's six first downs on the decisive drive.

Soon thereafter, as Riddle heaved a throw into heavy coverage, Hudgins made one of the most significant plays of the game by hustling to knock a sure interception away from Georgia Southern safety Chris Rogers.

That preserved Elon's chances. And three plays later on a fourth-and-10, Riddle pump-faked to help free Hudgins before firing a 20-yard completion to the junior receiver.

Riddle, in just his 15th college game, became Elon's all-time leader in touchdown passes. That first-half strike to Hudgins was Riddle's 39th career scoring throw.

Burgin Beale, who played at Elon from 1965-68, had held the school's career milestone with 38 touchdown passes in 844 attempts - 177 more than Riddle needed to reach the record.

"That's pretty neat," Riddle said, "but Elon didn't throw the ball much back in the day, so it's not that big of a deal. It's good to know that I'll leave with that record, but it's about this win on the road. I could care less if I broke any records down here."

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